THE INTERNS OF OLIP, 2017-2018

It feels like centuries ago that our cohort, the 2017-2018 OLIP interns, was standing awkwardly outside the southeast entrance of the Main Legislative Building, sharing in first introductions. Over the previous eight days, we have been extremely busy meeting government officials, administrative staff at the Legislative Assembly, and officers of the legislature. These meetings have given us an inside look into the workings of the legislature and Ontario’s political process. In the process, we have also learned about each other and the topics we’re most passionate about. Each intern has a diverse academic and personal background, which makes our conversations fascinating and puts our cohort at an advantage. The Guardian outlined these benefits of diversity as, “collaboration [results in] more rounded individuals, encouraging our pupils to see things from different perspectives and helping them to make informed decisions, acquiring transferable skills that will remain with them for life.” In other words, having the ability to consider things from different perspectives. Here is a short glimpse into the interns hopes for OLIP:

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Harmeet Sandhu: “Since I began the internship, I have remained perpetually in awe of the energy at Queen’s Park, the monumental accomplishments of Legislative Assembly staff members who are critical for the administration of the provincial parliamentary process, as well as the diverse strengths of my fellow peers who I hope to develop life-long connections with.”

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Josef Méthot: “I am excited to learn about parliamentary procedure and see the legislative process in action! It’s a topic I’ve always been interested in, and I have to admit I am really impressed at how the Clerks and the Speaker keep everything organized and running smoothly. I look forward to learning even more about the work they do.”

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Shireen Salti: “It has been both a privilege and an honour getting to know the Ontario Legislative Assembly staff, independent officers, as well as the other 9 highly unique interns. I look forward to  enhancing my knowledge of provincial politics, developing life-long connections, and expanding my network with the upper echelons of the Ontario Legislature.”

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Danielle Prapavessis: “Being curious by nature, I hope to ask all of the necessary questions to understand firstly the interplay between politicians and the public in the legislative process and secondly how Ontario’s government works to satisfy the diverse needs of Ontarians across our gorgeous, yet vast province.”

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Kassandra Loewen: “My primary hope for the next ten months is that it will be an incredible learning experience. Namely, that I will be able to continually learn from my fellow Interns, from all the talented people who take the time to meet with us, from our study tours, and – last but certainly not least -from my work with MPPs on both sides of the House.”

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Ana Qarri: “I hope that the next 10 months will be filled with fascinating people and challenges. I’m especially looking forward to learning more about Digital Government and the impact of new technologies and innovation on a wide range of provincial policies.”

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Matthew Klassen: “I am eager to build my knowledge of the legislative process, particularly the work of standing committees and legislative staff.  I also look forward to better understanding the different geographical and socio-economic realities that impact legislation and the political landscape in Ontario.”

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Jaskiran Shoker: “It is an honor to be a part of OLIP’s 42nd cohort. I look forward to serving the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. I am also very excited to gain a comprehensive perspective of the legislative process through a comparative lens!”

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Daryl Gonsalves: “My hope from OLIP is to build lifelong connections and directly learn about the political process in way which no textbook or class can allow for. I look forward to a year of learning, having interesting conversations and contributing to the combined effort of the legislature to create positive change for Ontarians.”

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Mackenzie Taylor: “I look forward to learning from my fellow interns. We are fortunate to have a diverse and supportive cohort. Furthermore, I hope to gain a greater understanding of parliamentary government, specifically pertaining the role(s) of legislative officers and convention.”

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